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Report: Insurance customers open to buying coverage from non-insurers
By Insure.com staff

Two thirds of insurance customers would consider buying coverage from organizations other than insurers, according to research by Accenture, which surveyed consumers in United States and 10 other countries.

"Competition in the insurance industry could quickly intensify as consumers become open to buying insurance not only from traditional competitors such as banks but also from Internet giants," Michael Lyman, global managing director for management consulting in Accenture's insurance practice, said in a press statement.

Survey respondents could select multiple responses when asked from what groups they would consider buying insurance. Their answers included:

  • Banks: 43 percent
  • Online service providers, such as Google and Amazon: 23 percent;
  • Home service providers, such as telecommunication and home security companies: 20 percent
  • Retailers: 14 percent
  • Car dealers: 12 percent.

Accenture said 40 percent of consumers are likely to switch to another car or home insurance provider over the next 12 months and estimates up to $400 billion in insurance premiums could change hands. Lower prices and more personalized service are the biggest reasons consumers switch insurers. The survey found that Chinese, Brazilian and British consumers are the most likely to switch providers.

The research also shows that two-thirds of consumers are interested in mobile insurance services, such as using a cell phone to display proof of insurance or to send photos to report a claim.

Thirty-five percent of insurance customers, meanwhile, said they are open to provide access to their usage or behavior information, such as car usage or lifestyle information, if the data could get them a better value.

"Only those insurers with the digital capabilities and flexible operating model to adapt effectively to the changing demands of customers will be able to attract the large number of customers who are set to leave their less farsighted providers," Lyman said. "Visionary insurers must also be prepared to conceptualize their business more broadly, building online communities and offering non-insurance services."

Accenture said Progressive's online "Name Your Price" tool and USAA's efforts to help members purchase cars are examples of visionary initiatives.

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